Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
After the win against Buffalo, there was a lot of hype about the "resurgent" Jets and some talk of Todd Bowles as a coach of the year candidate. However, after yesterday's dispiriting loss, the reality is that the Jets have lost four of five with their only win coming over a Bills team whose 37-point loss to the Saints yesterday suggests they have been overrated. Heading to the bye, it's probably time to reset our expectations.
Let's review the offensive performance from Sunday's loss:
If you looked at a box score, you might think Josh McCown had a pretty good game, but he padded his stats in garbage time with over half of his 23 completions and 262 yards coming after the Bucs had taken a 12-point lead with six minutes left.
McCown completed just four of his first 12 passes, and was responsible for a few of the Bucs' six sacks due to holding onto the ball for too long. He misfired on a few throws, including a deep ball that was intercepted and a throw to the end zone that should have been.
He also overthrew a fourth down pass to Robby Anderson in the end zone so that Anderson couldn't get both feet down. That basically curtailed the Jets' comeback bid.
The buzz will start to pick up now for the Jets to bench McCown for one of their young backups. The most surprising thing about that is it took this long, which is probably a credit to McCown's steadying influence.
With Matt Forté out, the running game floundered again. Would it have been any better with him in there, though? It's difficult to say, as there didn't seem to be a lot of running room.
Bilal Powell had an encouraging start, busting over the left side for a 21-yard run. However, his other nine carries netted just nine yards -- a familiar statistic for the running game this season. Powell also lost a costly fumble on his only pass reception.
Elijah McGuire didn't have much success in the running game either, although he picked up one first down on the ground. He was a useful weapon in the passing game, though, with a couple of first down catches underneath. However, McCown was unable to connect with him on consecutive plays when the Jets had a second-and-short situation on the first possession of the second half. His 12 touches eventually netted 58 yards.
Lawrence Thomas returned at fullback but had mixed results as a run blocker and got beaten once in pass protection.
Anderson led the Jets with 85 yards on four catches, scoring a touchdown for the fourth game in a row, albeit with just 28 seconds left. Again, this could have been a blockbuster game for him, but he juggled and dropped one catch and was just unable to get his foot down for a second touchdown.
With Jeremy Kerley suspended, Jermaine Kearse spent more time in the slot. His four catches included just one first down, and he had a couple more that he got his hands on and couldn't bring in. Kearse was also flagged for offensive pass interference and an illegal formation penalty, but made a good block on Powell's long run.
Chad Hansen saw plenty of time, but wasn't targeted until the fourth quarter. However, he ended up with three catches, including a nice diving catch for a third down conversion and another first down over the middle.
ArDarius Stewart didn't see as much action, gaining just four yards on his two touches.
At right end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins ended up with pretty good numbers - six catches for 67 yards - but all of that production came on those last two drives. He had a big 28-yard catch and run on fourth-and-long and two other first downs over the middle to keep the comeback bid alive. He was targeted unsuccessfully three times and called for a hold in the first half.
Eric Tomlinson had some struggles both in the running game and pass protection this week, and wasn't targeted in the passing game. Third stringer Neal Sterling saw his first snaps since week four and was unsuccessfully targeted once.
The offensive line struggled badly this week, surrendering six sacks to the Bucs who entered Sunday with a league-worst eight. While McCown was to blame for a couple of these, there were some serious breakdowns, and they also struggled in the running game which didn't help matters.
Brian Winters admitted to the media that he had a poor game this week. He was called for two holding penalties in the first half, and struggled in pass protection down the stretch. He was bull-rushed into McCown on one play, knocking him down for a sack, then allowed his man to beat him for another. In the running game, he gave up too much penetration and failed to sustain his block when the Jets got stuffed on third-and-short.
The other guard, James Carpenter struggled too. He also allowed penetration and was responsible for some interior pressure, allowing the pocket to collapse a couple of times, failing to pick up a blitzer once and getting beaten cleanly once.
Wesley Johnson was stood up a few times in the running game and missed a second level block. He also gave up some interior pressure, allowing his man to split a double team for a sack. He allowed one quarterback hit that produced a first down due to a roughing call.
Kelvin Beachum was beaten for a sack and allowed his man to get upfield on him to stuff a run, but otherwise held up reasonably well.
Brandon Shell didn't make that many individual mistakes and, in fact, there was one play where Shell was the only offensive lineman to make his block in pass protection with the other three pass rushers all getting to the quarterback, even though one of them was double teamed. However, you wonder if his re-insertion into the lineup messed with the cohesion and chemistry elsewhere.
Shell wasn't mistake-free. He got burned off the edge by Kendall Beckwith for a sack and beaten inside for a run stuff. There was also a play where the Jets tried to run a screen pass and he allowed his man to push him back into the running back's path, messing up the timing and forcing McCown to throw it away.